Achieving agricultural GHG emission reductions: What are the regulatory options?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific


To achieve the Paris Agreement goals, greenhouse gas emissions have to go down and carbon sequestration on agricultural lands needs to increase. The agriculture and food sector also faces other challenges: agricultural production has to become more resilient to climate change, biodiversity in rural areas has to be restored, and the sector has to contribute to providing nutritious and healthy food to a growing world population. A deep and full transition of the entire food system is needed to make it ecologically sustainable. Achieving all of these goals simultaneously requires massive regulatory intervention. Focusing on the EU, I will discuss the regulatory options to pursue these goals. Relying on the theoretical framework on smart environmental regulation by Gunningham, Grabosky and Sinclair, who concluded that the ‘creation of sustainable agriculture demands a particularly broad array of policy instruments’, I will assess recent proposals by the European Commission under its European Green Deal and Farm to Fork policies, as well as other regulatory instruments that need to be considered as part of the instrument mix. I will conclude that regulatory intervention needs to be stepped up, particularly through using several opportunities that the EU Emissions Trading System offers to complement the regulatory toolbox.
Period8 Aug 2022
Held atGlobal Environmental Law Centre - University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • agriculture
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • climate change law
  • climate smart agriculture
  • climate policy
  • emissions trading
  • carbon tax, climate
  • common agricultural policy
  • EU law